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USB plug wall sockets could be one of the most convenient home inventions in recent years. Standard USB ports are like gold dust in most households these days, with almost everyone having at least one device that requires a USB port to charge. While previously you would be forced to share sockets on a computer or television, USB wall sockets can allow you to charge your devices anywhere in the house. Best of all, it couldn’t be easier to switch out an old plug socket for a new USB model.

Having said that, electrical work can always be dangerous for the inexperienced. If you have not changed a plug or worked with basic electrical wiring before, then you may want to consider hiring a qualified local electrician or experienced handyman to do the job for you.

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How to switch an old plug socket for a USB model

You will be happy to know that USB wall sockets look exactly the same as standard sockets from behind. In other words, if you already know how to change a wall socket, then there is nothing new to learn!

For this job, all you will need is a screwdriver. You may also want to have a voltage tester on hand to make sure that you can do your work safely and a spirit level to make everything perfectly straight.

The first step will be to switch off the mains power for your plug. Once you have done this, use your voltage tester to make sure that the sockets are isolated before proceeding.

Take your screwdriver and slowly undo the retaining screws on the casing of your plug socket. Once they are out, make sure to put them in a safe place.

Next, very gently pull the front panel off of your plug to reveal the wiring underneath.

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There will be two to three colours of wiring connected to your sockets: a brown live wire (L), a blue neutral wire (N) and a green and yellow earth wire (E). If your plug socket is plastic, it may not have an earth wire.

Gently unscrew the terminal screws holding each wire in place (again being sure to put them in a safe place afterwards), then pull the old socket completely away.

Pick up your new socket and make a note of where each terminal is located. It is crucial that you connect the correct wires to the correct terminals!

Insert each wire into the appropriate terminal, pushing them in far enough so that no bare wire is showing. You can then re-tighten the screws.

Push your new socket into the wall so that it is in the same position over the mounting box as the one you just replaced. Ensure that no wiring is trapped between the casing and the wall.

Re-insert the retaining screws and tighten them to secure your socket to the wall, being sure not to screw them in too tightly. You can then use a spirit level to make sure that it is not slanting down.

Finally, it’s time to turn the power back on and test out your new socket!